The cultural heritage of American Indians1 and their responses to oppression have intrigued countless investigators of social behavior. Researchers from numerous disciplines have sought to describe and measure tribal social phenomena, discover cultural patterns, and explain the current conditions and practices of these diverse native groups. Most research has taken a culturally myopic view and has been devoid of findings that would be helpful to its subjects. Social science literature, for example, rarely accounts for the positive elements of Indian cultures. The biased assumptions found in much of this kind of research are exemplified in studies that link mental illness to traditional healing (Devereux, 1961), or propose that Indians are underdeveloped in areas of reflective verbal thought (Schubert & Cropley, 1972). Typically, American Indians are treated as sources of data rather than being invited to contribute to the complete research venture, including problem formulation, interpretation of data, and conclusions (Trimble, 1977).
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